Oldfield School

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Oldfield School
Oldfield School logo.png
Oldfield School, Bath, main entrance building.jpg
Established 1892
Type Academy
Headteacher Patrick Heuff (Acting)[1]
Chair of Governors Stuart Weatherall[2]
Location Kelston Road
Coordinates: 51°23′35″N 2°24′18″W / 51.3930°N 2.4050°W / 51.3930; -2.4050
Council area Bath and North East Somerset
DfE URN 136483 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students 755 as of January 2013[3]
Ages 11–18
Website www.oldfieldschool.com

Oldfield School is a secondary school, with a small sixth form, in Newbridge, Bath, England. Since February 2011, the school has had academy status, meaning that it operates outside the control of the local authority.[4] Prior to 2012 the main school was girls only, with a co-educational sixth form. The school had 755 students aged 11 to 18 as of January 2013.[3]


Oldfield School was founded in 1892 to serve the City of Bath; in 1959 the school moved from the city centre to agricultural land on the western outskirts of the city,[5] overlooking the River Avon valley, and now attracts pupils from a much wider area including the eastern outskirts of Bristol.[6]

The main school building is from the late 1950s, but Penn House dates from the mid-1800s predating the school, and is largely used as sixth form accommodation and by the English department.[5][7] In the 1960s Penn House was a separate special school, but was later absorbed into Oldfield School.[5] Recent buildings include a drama studio, dance studio, sports hall, and a new teaching block for Mathematics and Humanities.[8] Some expansion classroom blocks date from the 1970s and 1980s. The school has on-site playing fields.[9]

In the 1990s and 2000s the school took an early opportunity to gain more independence from local authority control by becoming a grant-maintained school and then a foundation school.[10]

In 2010 the school applied for academy status[10] using the Academies Act in order to remove itself from local authority control and avoid becoming co-educational,[11] becoming an Academy in February 2011.[3] Ultimately, under pressure from Bath and North East Somerset Council which offered to provide £1.85 million for conversion works, the school decided to become co-educational from 2012.[12][13][14]

Sports hall opened by Helen Glover in 2012

Recent PE teacher Helen Glover won the gold medal for the women's coxless pairs at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. She took up rowing in 2008 whilst teaching at the school and trained at the Minerva Bath Rowing Club nearby. In November 2012 she returned to the school to open the £1.85 million sports centre.[8][8]


The school is a National College for School Leadership National Support School and the former Headteacher is a National Leader of Education.[15]


The Oldfield School uniform consists of a navy blue jacket with a white logo of a swan. A tie and grey jumper should be worn. A white shirt must be worn under the jumper. Students in years 7, 8 and 9 must wear navy blue trousers or skirt. Shoes must be comfortable, have little or no heel and be blue, black or brown.[16]

Sixth form[edit]

The school has a sixth form of 68 students as of January 2013.[17][3]

2013 breakdown in management and governance[edit]

In December 2013 Ofsted made a surprise inspection to investigate concerns over child safeguarding, following some complaints. Ofsted concluded that safeguarding procedures met requirements, but the school governors had an inadequate understanding of their statutory responsibilities, were overly reliant on information provided by the headteacher, and an external review of governance should be undertaken.[18][19] A fuller Ofsted report has not been published, despite a petition of over 1,000 signatures.[20] The Bath Chronicle, which had seen a copy of the fuller report, reported that it "would have regraded the school rated as outstanding in 2012, and which contains more serious criticisms", but was limited in what it could report for legal reasons.[20][21]

In March 2014, in the week a Department for Education review team visited the school, Stuart Weatherall was appointed Chair of Governors, with the previous Chair becoming Vice-chair of Governors.[2][22] The NASUWT teachers' union called for the resignation of the headteacher following the leaking of the unpublished 2013 Ofsted report which accused the headteacher of "managing staff through a culture of fear, intimidation and bullying".[23]

On 30 April 2014 the headteacher resigned.[24] On the same day it was announced that a pre-warning notice letter had been issued by the Secretary of State for Education to the governors, requiring major improvements after a serious breakdown in the way the academy had been managed and governed.[25][26][27] The remedial actions recommended by the Education Funding Agency include the establishment of an Interim Academy Board, to take over the powers and functions of the governors for a period of time.[28] In July 2015 the Interim Academy Board was dissolved, and a normal governance regime resumed.[29]


  1. ^ "Oldfield School pledges 'transparency' for new term after Ofsted criticism of head teacher Kim Sparling". Western Daily Press. 7 September 2014. Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Paul Wiltshire (14 March 2014). "Oldfield School chair of governors Julie Cope 'forced to resign'". Bath Chronicle. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d "EduBase2 - Establishment: Oldfield School". Department for Education. January 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  4. ^ "Oldfield School in Bath is the city's first academy". BBC. 1 February 2011. Retrieved 15 February 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c Duncan Overy (26 July 2013). Oldfield School - Archaeological Deskstudy (PDF) (Report). ARUP. Job number 215218. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  6. ^ "Oldfield School Internet Site". Oldfield School. Archived from the original on 16 November 2006. Retrieved 16 November 2006. 
  7. ^ Historic England. "Penn Hill House  (Grade II) (1394341)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c "Olympic rower Helen Glover returns to Oldfield School to open sports centre". Bath Chronicle. 26 November 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2012. 
  9. ^ "A Review of Secondary Schools in Bath". Bath and North East Somerset Council. 14 April 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  10. ^ a b David Marley (30 May 2010). "Schools eye up Tory offer of greater independence". TES Newspaper. Retrieved 11 March 2014. 
  11. ^ "11th hour U-turn sees Oldfield School agree to go co-ed". Bath Chronicle. 17 September 2010. Retrieved 11 March 2014. 
  12. ^ "Decision made on Secondary School provision for Bath and Keynsham". Bath and North East Somerset. 21 July 2010. Retrieved 8 October 2010. 
  13. ^ "Council tells Bath school to 'admit boys or close'". BBC. 16 September 2010. Retrieved 12 November 2013. 
  14. ^ "All-girls school in Bath to admit boys". BBC. 17 September 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2010. 
  15. ^ "Current list of National Leaders of Education and National Support Schools" (PDF). National College of School Leadership. p. 10. Retrieved 12 November 2010. 
  16. ^ "Essential Information" (PDF). Oldfield School. pp. 12–14. Retrieved 6 December 2010. 
  17. ^ "Sixth Form". Oldfield School. Retrieved 27 July 2010. 
  18. ^ "Ofsted calls for governors at Oldfield School to take stronger line on dealing with complaints". Bath Chronicle. 15 February 2014. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  19. ^ "Oldfield School headteacher Kim Sparling accused staff of being 'treacherous' and suggested they look for new jobs". Western Daily Press. 20 February 2014. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  20. ^ a b "Petition to get full Oldfield Ofsted report published tops 1,000 signatures". Bath Chronicle. 25 February 2014. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  21. ^ Warwick Mansell (25 February 2014). "Parents say rejection of Institute of Education free school plan is 'political' - Petition calls for Ofsted to publish report". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  22. ^ "Chair of governors replaced at troubled Oldfield School". Bristol Post. 14 March 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  23. ^ "Union calls for resignation of Oldfield head teacher Kim Sparling". Bath Chronicle. 21 March 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  24. ^ "Oldfield School head teacher Kim Sparling resigns". BBC. 1 May 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  25. ^ Paul Wiltshire (1 May 2014). "Exclusive: Kim Sparling steps down as headteacher at Oldfield School". Bath Chronicle. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  26. ^ Siobhan Prideaux (2 May 2014). "Government report outlines improvements needed at Bath's Oldfield School". Bath Chronicle. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  27. ^ Lord Nash (7 April 2014). "Pre-Warning Notice Letter to the Governors of Oldfield School" (PDF). Department for Education. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  28. ^ Review of Oldfield Academy Trust (PDF) (Report). Education Funding Agency. April 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  29. ^ Anne Moore (23 July 2015). "Full responsibility returned to Bath's Oldfield School after changes are made". Bath Chronicle. Retrieved 24 July 2015. 

External links[edit]